Saturday,  January 23, 2021  1:01 pm

Collision at YYZ: injured passengers were victims of their own ignorance

Collision at YYZ: injured passengers were victims of their own ignorance

In May 2019, a Jazz Aviation LP aircraft collided with a tanker truck on a Toronto Pearson runway. Fortunately, the incident left "only" 15 minor injuries. 

But the event highlighted another problem: several passengers did not follow the safety directions they were given, as documented in a Transportation Safety Board report issued this week. 

The incident produced no fire or fuel spillage, but it was the evacuation of the aircraft, which escalated into a mass panic, where things went awry.

For example, a passenger was injured because she had removed her seat belt before the collision, despite the fact that the seat belt light was on and the flight attendant had asked her to keep her seat belt on. .

Two other passengers were injured after opening a rear emergency exit window (without having received any instructions) and jumping out of it!

This was obviously not in accordance with the instructions on the safety measures card, which instructs passengers to sit in the exit threshold before leaving the aircraft.

Some passengers also attempted to retrieve their carry-on baggage during the evacuation, resulting in delays.

The importance of following instructions

“It is important that passengers consider the safety briefings, review the safety measures card and follow the instructions of flight attendants in order to be prepared and to escape safely in the event of an emergency. 'emergency', stated the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in its investigation report.

As a toddler was also injured in the crash, the TSB reiterates one of its outstanding recommendations to require child restraint systems for infants and toddlers to ensure a level of security.

They did not see each other 

The collision on May 10th, 2019, involved, on the one hand, a Rampstar tanker truck and, on the other hand, a de Havilland DHC-8-300 aircraft, carrying 52 passengers, including three young children. Passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft and were directed to the terminal by first responders.

The driver of the tanker, which was traveling at a speed of about 40 km/hour, could not see the aircraft in time to avoid the collision, with his view being partially obstructed. The captain also did not see the tanker: visibility was reduced due to darkness, rain and reflected light.

Several measures were adopted following the incident. Among other things, the tankers were fitted with rear and side vision cameras, and two-way radios to improve communications between the operator and his drivers.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned from this incident, however, is reminding passengers of the importance of familiarizing themselves with safety information and following the instructions of flight attendants in an emergency.

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